Re: Indonesian origin stories (was Re: [asa] Re: Reading Genesis theologically NOT historically)

From: IW <>
Date: Thu Oct 08 2009 - 05:55:04 EDT

Hash: SHA1

Murray Hogg wrote:
> Hi Iain,
> I found the below to be very interesting indeed.
> Your facebook page (and e-mail!) tells me you're in Indonesia, so I'm
> wondering (most importantly) did you escape the recent earthquakes
> unscathed? I hope your family, friends, and colleagues are all okay if,
> indeed, you're in the quake zone.

Hi Murray. Thanks, yes, I have been in Indonesia some 24 years now. And
yes, we are all safe. I have no family in the area affected although we
did have a strong quake close to home but no damage to us.

> Other than that, can I ask what people group you're working among? Where
> in Indon are they? And are the predominantly Christian, Muslim, or
> other? And, if Christian (or Muslim), do they follow the usual practice
> of maintaining their origins stories alongside their Biblical/Koranic
> understanding?

I am in the "lost" province of papua so we are working mostly with
Papuans. However, demographics indicate that probably at least 1/2 the
people we work with in the urban areas are non-Papuans (read: Asians).
Papua is majority Christian and Animistic but since Indonesia is islamic
we also have a lot of work with people of the Muslim faith.

The Papuans who are mostly Christian still maintain very strong links to
their cultures and beliefs. It is quite fascinating because their is a
duality going on that would disturb a western socratic logic-process but
is quite acceptable to them.

Of course cultural changes and upheavals mean that much will be and is
being lost.

What is striking is how often Papuans have told me how they relate so
much better to the OT (as opposed to the NT) because culturally they see
many similarities. Also, the interaction of the spirit world on the
physical world as depicted in the OT is very much in line with their
beliefs. As a random example, when my father related the story of Jacob
wrestling with the angel, they responded quite matter of factly because
they too (apparently) had spirit creatures visit their huts, choose a
man, and wrestle him till dawn.

> I see your with the Clinton Foundation - so you're engaged in some sort
> of social development work?

Yup, I have been working in the NGO field ever since I left Uni, first
in the private sector and now in the public. Our work is centred on
HIV/AIDS treatment, supply chain management etc etc. Very very scary stuff,

> Feel free to answer off-list if you don't want to air your laundry in
> public!

Nice to meet you btw :)

- ---------
Acting Progrm Director []
SKYPE: iain-holuwon
Mobile1: +62 (0)812 484 8678
Mobile2: +62 (0)812 490 1406
Office/Kantor: +62 967 524 597
Fax: +62 967 524 596
Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Thu Oct 8 05:56:37 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Thu Oct 08 2009 - 05:56:38 EDT